Dortmund Panorama

Dortmund Vital Study

Scientific information about the goals and methods can be found here: Dortmund Vital Study.


The IfADo wants to get to the bottom of the topic of healthy ageing in a broad-based research initiative. The Dortmund Vital Study investigates the effects and correlations of age, working conditions, lifestyle and stress at various levels: from immune response to subjective sensation and brain activity to organ function.

We are looking for participants

To this end, more than 800 participants between the ages of 20 and 70 are to be studied in the coming years. Professionals aged between 35 and 44 and between 60 and 70 are particularly welcome. The study started in 2015 and will extend over a longer period of time. Repeat examinations will take place every 5 years to analyse how the body functions change over time.

In the long term, we hope that the "Dortmund Vital Study" will provide answers to the question of how working conditions, stress, metabolic functions, the immune system and mental performance are linked over the lifespan.

What is it about?

The aim of the study is to better understand the connections between internal biological processes and environmental influences. We analyse complex mechanisms of the immune system, metabolism and brain as well as mental performance, susceptibility to stress and influences of working conditions (e.g. stress and workload) and individual lifestyle (e.g. diet or leisure activities).

We explore the following questions, among others:

  • Does someone who can deal positively with stress have a stronger immune system?
  • Do people who have a varied job suffer less often from senile dementia?
  • What consequences do lifestyle and stress have on brain or liver function?
  • How does increasing age affect brain functions, immune and metabolic processes?
  • What role do genes play in ageing, and what role do the environmental influences to which we are exposed play?
  • From the data, the researchers want to determine, for example, risk factors for impairments in connection with depression, burn-out or old-age diseases such as senile dementia.
Who can participate?

Participation in the Dortmund Vital Study is possible if you are between 20 and 70 years old and do not have an acute, serious illness. Professionals aged between 35 and 44 and between 60 and 70 are particularly welcome. The scientific examinations and analyses require that you are not currently taking any strong medication (e.g. psychopharmaceuticals, neuroleptics, chemotherapy).

If you would like to take part, but are not sure whether you are excluded, you are welcome to clarify this with our staff during a telephone consultation.

How can you participate?

Step 1: If you would like to participate, please contact us by phone, mail or email and leave us your phone number.
Step 2: You will then receive a call back from us, during which questions about participation will be clarified, the screening programme will be presented and an appointment for a visit will be arranged.
Step 3: You will then receive information from us by post with further details about the procedure and the examinations and a series of questionnaires. You can fill out the questionnaires at home and bring them with you to your first examination appointment.
Step 4: On site, we will explain the consent form to you during an explanatory discussion. Once you have signed this, the examination programme can begin.

The examinations will take place over two days with about five to six hours on the first day and about seven hours on the second day. Among other things, you will take part in an EEG study and an MRI examination and undergo bicycle ergometry with ECG. For biochemical analyses, we also need a blood, urine and hair sample. All examinations are carried out by an experienced team who will accompany you through the entire programme. All data is treated anonymously and is used exclusively for scientific purposes.

Why should you participate?

If you participate in the Dortmund Vital Study, you can actively contribute to expanding knowledge on the topic of stress and its consequences and thus do something to improve the health situation in Germany. In addition, you will receive an expense allowance of 200 euros for your participation. We look forward to seeing you.

Data protection

Your data will be kept strictly confidential. Your personal identifying data (i.e. name, address and contact details) are kept strictly separate from the examination data from the interviews and medical examinations at IfADo. This means that it is not possible to draw any conclusions about you from the data collected. The survey and examination data are pseudonymised and coded with an identification number. This means that they are encrypted without any personal reference and are evaluated exclusively for scientific purposes and in accordance with data protection regulations.

Your biosamples (blood, urine and hair samples) will be stored long-term and also pseudonymised at IfADo. The study was reviewed by the responsible ethics committees. All persons involved in the investigations of the study are obliged to comply with the data protection regulations. Withdrawal from the study is of course possible at any time at your request, even without giving reasons.